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Don't run again, Sam: survey

Large plurality in poll pans how Katz handles his business side

Roughly half of Winnipeggers have had enough of Sam Katz as mayor.

A Probe Research poll conducted for the Free Press found 49 per cent of Winnipeg adults do not think Katz should run for another mayoral term in 2014. Another 40 per cent of respondents think Katz has done a poor job keeping his business interests separate from his mayoral duties.

Large poll plurality says Sam Katz does poor job separating business interests, mayoral duties.

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARCHIVES

Large poll plurality says Sam Katz does poor job separating business interests, mayoral duties. Photo Store

Probe Research president Scott MacKay called the results "discouraging" for Katz, as most governing mayors have a relatively high level of support. Katz was first elected in a midterm byelection in 2004 and is currently halfway through his third term in office.

He has not said whether he plans to run in the 2014 civic election.

Although it's possible Katz could win a fourth term in office -- 32 per cent of respondents said he should run again -- MacKay said the results are a good indication a large segment of Winnipeggers thinks he has not done well.

"I think it's not been a good year for Mr. Katz and for mayors across Canada," he said. "It's unusual to have a governing mayor who is unpopular, and I don't see much popularity in this."

Katz has faced criticism this year on multiple fronts, including Winnipeg's contentious fire-paramedic station replacement program and his purchase of an Arizona-based shell company from chief administrative officer Phil Sheegl.

Katz said "polls are polls" and these results are much different than the recent findings of a similar poll commissioned by another Winnipeg media outlet. He said he is focused on addressing the city's real problems and moving it forward.

He said Winnipeg has become a choice city to invest in, telling him people have faith in what is going on in the city.

"When you have certain comments, innuendos, false accusations and they become major headlines through whatever form of media, that certainly has an impact on the public," Katz said following a pre-budget announcement.

"From my point of view, I know we're keeping everything separate, because there really is not much to keep separate."

The poll found men, higher-income earners who make upwards of $100,000 annually and university or college graduates were most likely to say Katz has done a poor job of keeping his business interests separate from his mayoral duties.

Homeowners, older adults, people between 35 and 54 and respondents who attended university or college were most likely to say Katz should not seek another term as mayor.

The city-wide random telephone survey of 600 adults was conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 9.

It is considered accurate with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within plus or minus four percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Winnipeg had been interviewed.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

"Winnipeg's next mayoral election will take place in October 2014. Before that election, the current mayor, Sam Katz, will have to decide whether to run in that election. If it were up to you, do you think Sam Katz should or should not run in the next civic election?"

No, he should not run again49 per cent

Yes, he should run again32 per cent

Unsure19 per cent

 

"Thinking about city politics for a moment: in your opinion has Mayor Sam Katz done a good job or a poor job in keeping his private business affairs separate from his duties as the mayor of Winnipeg?"

Poor job40 per cent

Fair job:25 per cent

Good/excellent job24 per cent

Unsure/no response10 per cent

 

The city-wide random telephone survey of 600 adults was conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 9. It is considered accurate with 95 per cent certainty that the results are within a +/- four percentage points of what they would have been if the entire adult population of Winnipeg had been interviewed.

 

--Source: Probe Research Inc.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 26, 2012 A3

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